SmackDown In A Nutshell: Will Eric Bischoff Make A Big Difference?
Well, we've had one new Executive Director run his show last night, so now it's time for the other new ED to do the same for SmackDown.
It’s another potentially exciting evening in WWE, as it’s the first time the SmackDown brand works under new Executive Director Eric Bischoff. It’s been a while since we’ve heard that name around WWE, and he was always a bit of a lightning rod when he was here last. Now, he comes back in what is probably a significant-and very real-role. So, will Eric Bischoff make a big difference? We may not know after the first night, but we might just get ourselves a bit of a glimpse into what is coming up for the blue brand. Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!
Best Match of the night:
If I absolutely must pick a wrestling match here? Then I have to do a 1A/1B scenario here.
Option 1A? That would be Apollo and Andrade. This match was actually quite good. A strong showing for Apollo in the loss. Both men need to get back on track…feels like we were just hearing how Andrade could be the next big push, no?
1B would be the tag main event. Owens and Ziggler will be starting something good it seems, and Heavy Machinery is getting another shot at the gold. Was a good match (and one that honestly did not need New Day or the tag champs at ringside with distractions, though it did set the overall picture for Extreme Rules).
Worst match of the night:
Several were just not worth it.
Sadly, two were women’s matches, and I really have no explanation for either.
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Nikki versus Bayley? I mean, sure, I get having the champion win. But there is nothing saying that Cross can’t get in some offense and actually work a good (semi-long) match, is there? The length of the match and decisive quick win really did not help Nikki here.
Then, we had Ember Moon and Mandy Rose. Same idea here…too short to be of any importance. Wasted time, in the grand scheme.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
I’ll be honest, I did not catch much.
Star of the Night
I have to give some love to Heavy Machinery. It’s hard not to like these guys…though in the end, I suspect they may end up more along the lines of this generation’s Bushwhackers or Thrashers (not terrible comps really…one team is in the Hall of Fame and the other did hold the tag titles at one point)
Spot of the Night:
There were just not that many good choices…but I did find one. For me, I am going with Trouble In Paradise. Kofi Kingston flipped off challenger Samoa Joe, and as an enraged Joe charged at the champ, Kofi nicely executed the move, laying out Joe. It was, all in all, a nice exchange.
Jobber of the Night:
The New Day announce table. As with the ringside Spanish announce table, you know it’s really there to take a crazy bump…and it was.
Upset of the Night:
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Honestly, too soon to know if this was related to anything from the new boss…but having Kofi flip off Samoa Joe was definitely a big and unexpected move. We’ve seen a few portions of each show the past two nights get a lot more edgy. I can’t help but think that in both cases, new management may have had a bit to do with that.
Botch of the night:
Either the camera man was supposed to block the entire flipped bird from Kofi, or he was not. If he was, he did not get all of it. If he wasn’t supposed to block it, he did. I have to think there was some miscommunication on that, but the audience loved the exchange.
Also, Daniel Bryan seemed to be having issues getting words out when he and Rowan were on guest commentary.
LOL Moment of the night:
Otis Dozovic is a big man. But he is also a funny character to watch, whether intended that way or not (and it really has to be planned, doesn’t it?)
Overall, I think with a few spots, we got a bit more edgy. Not crazy edgy, but having a middle finger spot and in another instance, one Superstar calling the other a bitch…it’s a bit edgy for WWE compared to most recent work.
Beyond that, I’d go for the fact that Heavy Machinery has now landed a spot in the SmackDown Tag Team title match at Extreme Rules. I have to like their chances, because the duo was just given a main event slot on SmackDown, which then led to a title opportunity.
The mis-use of television time bothers me. Rather than giving us a few short and less than ideal matches (the women’s matches mentioned previously, for example), find a way to use all the talent from two short matches and see if you can’t make it a compelling and somewhat longer tag match, or something?
Also…can someone tell me…is Kevin Owens a face or a heel? After the opening exchange, he came off as a face quite a bit. At the end of the evening, he was facing off against a pair of faces…but by the end of the evening he was dropping Ziggler with a stunner. So…is KO a face or a heel? If recent history is a guide, we know that WWE has done flips and flops numerous times over.
I like seeing this side of Kofi.
I like Heavy Machinery getting another shot.
Owens and Ziggler could have themselves an interesting program starting. We have seen both as babyfaces and obviously both had recently been positioned as heels. I don’t know which way this goes now-perhaps Owens channels his inner Stone Cold more completely now, and becomes someone a bit edgier and with more “Attitude”?
After the final bell:
Overall? Not the worst blue brand effort. That said, still vast amounts of improvement are due. It seemed we got more from Heyman’s first evening than we did for Bischoff’s…but we also don’t really know if either man had much to do with what we saw out of this week (we might eventually, but we don’t know yet.)